Since the start of the offseason - and quite honestly throughout the entire campaign - Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli has taken a lot of heat for some of his moves and for the embarrassing year his team managed to put together after being one of 2017's Cup contenders. Now Chiarelli is taking more heat, but this time, it's for not making any move at all...
Jim Matheson of The Edmonton Sun is reporting that the Oilers will not be trading starting goalie Cam Talbot this off-season, but they're not ready to commit long-term to him, either.
As explained to Matheson by Talbot's agent, George Bazos, both camps have yet to open contract talks - with one year remaining on Talbot's deal.
“I know Cam had a really good exit meeting but I haven’t really spoken to Edmonton at all,” Bazos said. “I imagine I’ll bump into Peter at the draft…but there’s no big plans or anything.”
While Matheson believes Chiarelli may want to wait to see at least how the first part of next season plays out before negotiating, he also suggests that Talbot could be sold off as a rental at the trade deadline if he fails to rebound next season. Talbot's numbers in his first season with the Oilers were a 42-22-8 record with a .919 save percentage. He however finished last season with a 31-31-3 record and a .908 save percentage.
“If you look at the quality shots against Edmonton last year they were one or two in the league,” said Bazos. “I don’t think there’s concern about Cam. They have to shore up other parts (team). If you look at how he played especially down the stretch, he was lights-out.
“I expect at some point, Edmonton will want to talk because it’s not easy to find a high-end No. 1 goalie. But at the same time they know Cam likes it there, his family likes it there. It’s not like we’re jumping up and down to get out of there.”
While Bazos is more than willing to sit down and talk contract extension with the Oilers, it seems like it's them who have been too busy to engage in discussions, especially since they signed KHL goaltender Mikko Koskinen to a one-year, $2.5 million contract earlier this off-season. He is expected to serve as Talbot's backup next season.
“It’s really not up to me … if Edmonton wants to do something, I’d love to sit down and talk,” said Bazos. “There’s no question Cam that believes the team will be a lot better next season so there’s a lot less pressure on the player. The pressure’s really on the team, more so on the player.”
Pressure is on, Chiarelli...